President John Dramani Mahama has been elected Chairperson of the African Union’s (AU’s) High-Level African Trade Committee (HATC).
A statement issued by the Flagstaff House Communications Bureau said the election of President Mahama yesterday took place at a meeting of the committee shortly after the opening of the ongoing 23rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the AU in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.
It said President Mahama was taking over from the Chadian President, Idris Derby.
The HATC provides policy orientation and recommendations for the Summit of the Heads of State and Government on the acceleration and deepening of Africa’s market integration agenda.
The committee’s main responsibility is the facilitation and unlocking of blockages in the implementation of the framework, road map and architecture for fast-tracking the establishment of the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) and the action plan for boosting intra-African trade (BIAT), which became an AU policy in January 2012.
The statement said based on progress in the past two years, the Heads of State and Governments had demonstrated their commitment to fast-track the establishment of the CFTA by requesting AU Ministers of Trade to convene an extraordinary session to prepare for the launch of the CFTA negotiations in 2015.
It said President Mahama, who has been a personal advocate of improved intra-African trade, was expected to use his tenure to push the agenda for greater trade among countries on the continent.
The 23rd Ordinary Session of the AU ends today.
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